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Music Among Friends – A Celebration of Diversity
January 15 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm| $20 – $25
Whidbey’s Saratoga Orchestra presents MUSIC AMONG FRIENDS—A Celebration of Diversity, on January 15, 3:00pm at The First Reformed Church of Oak Harbor and on January 16, 3:00pm at Island Church of Whidbey in Langley.
The essence of chamber music is to stretch the boundaries of creative expression. A small group of performers, an intimate space, one musician on a part. This experience will be recreated when the professional musicians from Whidbey’s Saratoga Orchestra celebrate a diverse spectrum of composers not often heard in the concert hall. The program, spanning centuries and musical genres will be performed by string and woodwind quintets and various combinations of the two groups together.
On the program will be selections from two of Joseph Bologne’s string quartets. Often referred to by his title Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Bologne was regarded as one of Mozart’s most accomplished contemporaries and the first classical composer of African descent.
The program will also include the first movement of Louise Farrenc’s Nonet, Op. 38. Farrenc started her career as a concert pianist, and in 1842 became the only woman appointed to the position of professor at the Paris Conservatory in the 19th century. She protested for nearly a decade trying to gain pay equality and after the very successful premiere of this nonet, it was granted.
Moving into the 20th century: composer and pianist Florence Price was faced with overcoming a cultural barrier that defined composers as white, male, and dead. In 1933, Price became the first African-American woman to have a work performed by a major U.S. orchestra when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed her symphony. Though she composed hundreds of pieces, her catalogue of work has only recently gained a recognition. Whidbey audiences will be treated to Price’s whimsical Folk Songs in Counterpoint for string quartet.
Other fascinating composers featured on this program include William Grant Still, Bohuslav Martinů, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Stacy Garrop, Valerie Coleman, and local San Juan Island composer Alex Shapiro. Since 2016, Whidbey’s Saratoga Orchestra has gained national recognition in its effort to highlight women and BIPOC composers. To enhance the concert experience, former KING-FM radio host Marta Zekan will give further insight into these wonderful composers and their works during the program.
General Admission concert tickets are $25 for Adults, $20 for Seniors/Military and free admission for students 17 years and under. Pre-concert ticket sales will be at Click Music in Oak Harbor and Blue Sound Music in Langley. The health and safety of our patrons, musicians, volunteers, and community are top priority. As such, we are joining performing arts organizations across the Pacific Northwest region in requiring proof of vaccination, or a negative Covid test, for entry to all our performances in the foreseeable future. Additionally, masks will be required at our events. For our complete policy, visit: www.sowhidbey.com.